Q&A About Public Adjusters
What is a Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster is a licensed professional claims adjuster that works solely for you, the insured. Unlike an insurance company adjuster, who protects the insurance company’s interests, public adjusters prepare, present, and negotiate property claims with your insurance company, so that the insured, who is the laymen in this situation, doesn’t have to. A Public Adjuster is solely your representative.
Effectively handling an insurance claim requires specialized knowledge of policy provisions, estimating principles and claim procedures. In the same way you would hire a professional lawyer to represent your case in a court of law or it’s important you have proper representation when it comes to dealing with your insurance company.
Why do I need my own adjuster?
The insurance world is complex. A policy’s language, terms and conditions can make it difficult for an insured to understand their responsibility and know what is or is not covered. When an insured calls their insurer directly, there is a risk that they may unknowingly provide answers that can be detrimental to the claim.
While you can handle your own claim you would be doing so at a significant disadvantage. Insurance policies impose numerous duties and requirements by the policy holder spelled out in large 100-page policies written by highly skilled attorneys employed and advocating for the insurance company.
When you file a property damage claim with your insurance company, a staff adjuster (or sub-contracted claims adjuster) that works directly for the insurance company will come to your home to investigate and calculate your loss.
Keep in mind, the insurance company adjuster and corresponding staff are trained to represent the insurance company’s interests, not yours. Because they are paid by the same company that owes you a fair settlement, this can cause an obvious conflict. Too often, the outcome is limited coverage and claim payments even though, in principle, the insurance company’s purpose is to indemnify, or return the insured to pre-loss condition.
How is a Public Adjuster compensated?
A public adjuster works for a small percentage of your settlement. The fee is 100 percent contingent so if you don’t get you paid, the public adjuster doesn’t get paid. This compensation structure motivates us to get our client the highest possible settlement.
Why Choose Guardian Adjustment Group to represent your claim?
At Guardian, we bring expertise and experience to help you get the best possible settlement for your claim. Working on your behalf, we perform field inspections, prepare estimates, and evaluations, and compile arguments based your specific insurance policy. In addition to being skilled negotiators, we can leverage our longstanding partner relationships with structural appraisers, engineers, forensic accountants, inventory specialists, and other industry professionals to bring additional expertise where needed to resolve your case.
Where other firms in the industry may use aggressive sales tactics, or charge exorbitant fees, Guardian is 100 percent referral based and we maintain our fees at an industry low, offering a viable solution for our clients at a time of catastrophic loss.
We are licensed in six states including PA, NJ, DE MD, CT, and FL. We handle hundreds of claims a year of various sizes, different types of causes. We have the knowledge and expertise to know if your being treated fairly and to get that outcome for you. Most importantly, we deliver our services with compassion, integrity, and a client-first mindset and we keep your interests and rights at the forefront so you can feel confident that you have a professional working hard to help recoup the money you’re entitled to.
How does a Public Adjuster prepare a claim?
The public adjuster prepares estimates, compiles arguments, performs field inspections and evalutations, with a goal of getting you paid top dollar.
In addition to being skilled negotiators, the public adjuster uses the services of structural appraisers, engineers, accountants, inventory specialists, and other experts as needed to make sure you get the best possible settlement. Your insurer will use their own experts to document their opinion of your claim and try to tell you how much you’re owed. Again, the conflict is apparent.
If my claim was denied, am I entitled to a second opinion?
Yes! Many of our clients have already submitted a claim and been denied from the insurance company. Getting advice from a public adjuster is always in your best interest, especially if you have been denied. We will personally come to the loss, go through the policy, assess the cause of loss, review all damage, and form an opinion as to whether the denial is proper or not.
At Guardian, about 35% of our business is going back to an insurance company who has denied or underpaid a claim. Give us a call. We would be happy to review your denial from the insurance company. Keep in mind, we only get paid if you do, so our advice in relation to a denial or underpayment is free, unless we find that you have been improperly denied, and we assist you in getting the claim paid.
Is there any minimum value requirement for a claim?
We pride ourselves on giving professional and honest advice that is best for you, the insured. Should your policy and damage not be worth pursuing due to claim size or due to a policy coverage issue we will tell you so. Please do not try to assess your claim yourself simply because you believe the damages are insignifcant. Our advice is free, and often insureds don’t know their policy well enough. A seemingly small claim may be quite substantial due to unforeseen factors. Let us evaluate it for you, free of charge. Calling a public adjuster when damage occurs doesn’t negatively affect your premium or insurance record, as we don’t work for the insurance company, we work for YOU.
What about emergency and/or temporary repairs?
Within the fine print of all insurance policies is a complex list of obligations that you as the policyholder must abide by in the event of a loss. The period right after a loss is a critical time; the right decisions can save your business or home and protect your rights. The wrong decisions can lead to disaster. One mistake in this complex process can limit the amount paid by the insurance company.
We as public adjusters are aware of and familiar with policy holder requirements and can recommend and assist in finding emergency service technicians to protect your property. With many years in the field, we have a network of highly professional and reliable restoration companies we can recommend.
What should you as the Home or Business owner do first?
Call Guardian Adjustment Group right now, BEFORE you call your insurance company!